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The Best Musicals Based on Movies

List RulesOnly stage musicals that cite films as their original source material - no adaptations directly from other mediums

List of musicals based on movies, ranked by fans and casual critics. Stage theatre has been a primary form of entertainment for thousands of years, in the forms of plays, operas, and musicals. Around the world, dozens of theatrical performances are brought to life on stages big and small. Most notably, the theatre districts of Broadway in Manhattan and the West End in London are home to the catchiest, most elaborate, most memorable musicals. Nothing is more inspirational than experiencing the art of actors who can also sing and dance with grace and style in front of a large audience of people. It’s no wonder that plays and musicals have remained so popular throughout the years! What are the best musicals based on films?

This list includes the greatest plays and musicals that were inspired by movies, ranked according to the opinions of voters. Which soundtracks have you played nonstop? Which lyrics have you memorized? Some of these plays on this list were smash hit successful Broadway productions that scored several awards and made the actors instant successes. Others are newer shows that are still in trial runs for smaller audiences in cities like Chicago and Los Angeles.

In addition to direct adaptations from film to stage, this list includes musicals inspired by movies that weren't musicals to begin with. Wondering why you don't remember the songs from Billy Elliott or Sunset Boulevard? That's because there weren't any. 
  • 26

    Bring It On (2011)

    Bring It On (2000)
  • Irving Berlin , Mel Brooks

    CharactersFrankenstein's monster, Victor Frankenstein, Igor, Frau Blücher, Inga

    Young Frankenstein (1974), dir. by Mel Brooks
    Young Frankenstein (promoted as The New Mel Brooks Musical: Young Frankenstein) is a musical with a book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan, and music and lyrics by Brooks. It is based on the 1974  ...more
  • 28

    Fame (1988)

    Fame (1980)
  • 29

    9 to 5 (2008)

    9 to 5 (1980)
  • Dean Pitchford , Lawrence D. Cohen

    CharactersCarrie White, Margaret White, Chris Hargensen, Sue Snell, Tommy Ross

     Carrie (1976)
    Carrie: The Musical is a musical with a book by Lawrence D. Cohen, lyrics by Dean Pitchford, and music by Michael Gore. Adapted from Stephen King's novel Carrie, it focuses on an awkward teenage girl  ...more
  • 31

    Elf: The Musical (2010)

    Elf (2003)
  • Christopher Hampton , Don Black

    CharactersNorma Desmond, Joe Gillis, Betty Schaefer, Artie Green, Max Von Mayerling

    Sunset Boulevard (1950)
    Sunset Boulevard is a musical with book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Based on Billy Wilder's Academy Award-winning 1950 film of the same title,  ...more

    #45 of 67 The Best Tony Award Winning Musicals#10 of 43 The Best Broadway Musicals of the 90s#23 of 49 Stage Musicals That Would Make Great Movies

  • CharactersChristopher Scott, Kim, John Thomas, Tam, Gigi Van Tranh

    Miss Saigon is a musical by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil, with lyrics by Boublil and Richard Maltby, Jr. It is based on Giacomo Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly, and similarly tells the  ...more

    #13 of 87 The Most Popular Broadway Musicals of All Time#5 of 29 The Very Best Sung-Through Musicals

  • 34

    A Christmas Story: The Musical (2009)

    A Christmas Story (1983)
  • 35

    White Christmas (2004)

    White Christmas (1954)
  • 36

    Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)

    Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), which was based on "The Sobbin' Women" by Stephen Vincent Benét
  • Terrence McNally , Scott Wittman

    CharactersFrank Abagnale Jr., Brenda Strong, Frank Abagnale, Sr., Carl Hanratty

    Catch Me If You Can (2002), which was based on the autobiography (1980) by Frank Abagnale, Jr.
    Catch Me If You Can is a musical with a libretto by Terrence McNally and a theatrical score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. It follows the story of a con artist named Frank Abagnale Jr. A majority  ...more
  • 38

    Pretty Woman

  • 39

    Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1979)

    Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
  • CharactersTroy Bolton, Sharpay Evans, Chad Danforth, Gabriella Montez, Ryan Evans

    High School Musical (2006)
    High School Musical on Stage! is a musical based on the Disney Channel Original Movie High School Musical, with music and lyrics by Matthew Gerrard, Robbie Nevil, Ray and Greg Cham, Drew Seeley,  ...more
  • Hugh Wheeler , Stephen Sondheim

    CharactersDesiree Armfeldt, Charlotte Malcolm, Henrik Egerman, Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm, Anne Egerman

    A Little Night Music is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler. Inspired by the Ingmar Bergman film Smiles of a Summer Night, it involves the romantic lives of  ...more
  • Terrence McNally , David Yazbek

    CharactersDave, Horse, Malcolm, Ethan Girard, Jerry Lukowski

    The Full Monty (1997)
    The Full Monty is a musical with a book by Terrence McNally and score by David Yazbek. In this Americanized musical stage version adapted from the 1997 British film of the same name, six unemployed  ...more
  • Des McAnuff , Pete Townshend

    CharactersUncle Ernie, Tommy, The Lover, The Hawker, Sally Simpson

    The Who's Tommy is a rock musical with music and lyrics by Pete Townshend and book by Townshend and Des McAnuff, based on The Who's 1969 rock opera Tommy.  ...more
  • 44

    Meet Me in St. Louis (1989)

    Hugh Wheeler , Hugh Martin

    CharactersEsther Smith, Mr. Alonzo Smith, Agnes Smith, 'Tootie' Smith, Lon Smith Jr.

    Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
    Meet Me in St. Louis is a 1989 musical based on the 1944 film of the same title, about a family living in St. Louis, Missouri on the eve of the 1904 World's Fair. The musical varied from the film  ...more
  • Leslie Bricusse

    CharactersEbenezer Scrooge, Jacob Marley

    Scrooge (1970), which was based on the novella A Christmas Carol (1843) by Charles Dickens
    Scrooge: The Musical is a 1992 stage musical with book, music and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse. Its score and book are closely adapted from the music and screenplay of the 1970 musical film Scrooge  ...more
  • Anastasia is a musical with music and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, and a book by Terrence McNally. Based on the 1997 film of the same name, the musical tells the story of the legend of  ...more

    #48 of 71 The All-Time Best Ballets#13 of 26 The Best Broadway Shows Right Now

  • 47

    The Wedding Singer (2006)

    Chad Beguelin , Matthew Sklar

    CharactersRobbie Hart, Julia Sullivan, Linda, Glenn Guglia, Sammy

    The Wedding Singer (1998)
    The Wedding Singer is a musical with music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Chad Beguelin, and a book by Beguelin and Tim Herlihy. It is based on the 1998 film of the same name. The musical revolves  ...more
  • Jeffrey Lane , David Yazbek

    CharactersLawrence Jamieson, Freddy Benson, Inspector Andre, Jolene Oakes, Christine Colgate

    Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
    Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a 2004 comedy musical, with music and lyrics by David Yazbek and a book by Jeffrey Lane; it is based on the 1988 film of the same name. The musical premiered on Broadway in  ...more
  • 49

    Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (2006)

    Stephan Elliott , Allan Scott

    CharactersAnthony 'Tick' Belrose, Adam Whitely, Robert 'Bob' Spart, Bernadette

    The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)
    Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is a musical with a book by Australian film director-writer Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott, using well-known pop songs as its score. Adapted from Elliott's 1994 film  ...more
  • A Bronx Tale is a musical based on the play by the same name with a book by Chazz Palminteri, music by Alan Menken, and lyrics by Glenn Slater. After a ten year development process, the original one  ...more
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List Rules: Only stage musicals that cite films as their original source material - no adaptations directly from other mediums